SHANGHAI: When China’s biggest auto show opens in Shanghai this week, the only models on display will be the ones with four wheels.
Gone, show organizers hope, will be the scantily-clad “car babes” that in previous years have posed provocatively on car hoods and sashayed through the aisles to draw crowds to the 9-day event.
The focus, instead, will be the latest offerings from an array of global car manufacturers, which — models or not — are pulling out all the stops to compete for Chinese customers in what since 2009 has been the world’s largest car market.
“It’s a major industry event for us,” said Andrew Boyle, global product communications manager at Rolls Royce.
It sells several hundred of its super-luxury vehicles in China each year, and in Shanghai this week will launch its latest model, the Phantom Limelight.
Vehicle sales in China totaled 23.5 million units last year, almost a third more than in the United States.
However, the show comes at a turning point for China’s auto market, which is facing a second year of slower growth in 2015 after a decade-long sales and production frenzy.
Love affair with the SUV
Intense competition for China’s drivers means that car manufacturers are increasingly developing vehicles that cater to Chinese preferences.
Nissan will use Auto China 2015 to unveil the Lannia mid-size sedan, which it says has been specially created for “the rising young Chinese generation.” – CNN